>UK – Turkey: Naval Industry Inward Mission (Part 2)

>So what about the future?

What can be expect from the up coming event promoting business to business relations between Turkey  UK?

One currently ongoing defence project is procurement of Sea Sentor reactive soft-kill torpedo defence system from UK company Ultra for Milgem class. Ultra, with its Turkish partner Koç Bilgi ve Savunma Teknolojileri is developing a torpedo counter measure system for Turkish Type 214 class submarines.

It is a known fact that BAE Systems Surface Ships, is very much interested in selling Type 45 air defense ship as whole or its components for the TF-2000 project. During the 3. Naval Systems Seminar, BAE SSS made one presentation about Type 45 destroyer. The presentation was dull and the presenter was unimpressive, so that I got the feeling that BAE Systems was not interesting in promoting their ships at that time. Later they did some spin doctoring for damage control. This shows that they mean business.

Thales Naval Electronic Warfare (ex Marconi) offer their Sealion ESM system for the mid life modernization project of Ay class (Type 209/1100) class submarines. Currently four of six submarines use the older generation DR 2000 ESM system from the same company.

Rolls-Royce is interest in supplying the main propulsion systems for the TF-2000 project independent from BAE systems bid.

A safe bet for a possible cooperation would be the LPD project. I believe that this project will receive green light towards the end of 2011 and Brits are in the game. Royal Navy participated to Egemen 2009 amphibious exercise, which can be regarded as a show case of various amphibious ships, with Ocean class LPH, Albion class LPD and Bay class LSD.

With the recently announced reductions in the Royal Navy, Britain can offer a buy one new and get one used for free/at reduced price type deal in Turkey’s LPD project.

I do not see much prospect of cooperation in different class of warships such as submarines, fast attack craft, mine hunters etc. expect for very specialized sub systems, sensors or weapons. The prize projects for UK companies are without the doubt TF-200 air defence frigate and docked amphibious ship. Whether UK companies can succeed in penetrating into a market they have long neglected and a market that has shrunk is size remains a major question mark.

Click for Part 1

>UK – Turkey: Naval Industry Inward Mission (Part 1)

>In February, UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) will entertain its guest from Turkish maritime industry in a invitation only gathering. This is a clear and unmistakable sign of growing interest of British defence companies in Turkish naval projects

It was about time as the existence of British involvement in Turkey’s naval projects have been very limited until know.


I am personally a believer and follower of the phrase “Nations do not have permanent allies of enemies only permanent interests.” However in reality, some times the cold calculations of rationality are obstructed by historical events. And the relations between Britain and Turkey regarding naval matters was always very rocky.

My theory why British defence companies have failed to win any contracts for Turkish Naval projects is that Turkish Navy has never forgot the “back stabbing” by British when two Ottoman dreadnoughts Reşadiye and Sultan Osman I that had been ordered by the Ottoman government, were not handed over despite the fact that they had both been completed in 1914. They become HMS Erin and HMS Agincourt

They were not the only ships. In 1938 Turkey ordered four submarines and four destroyers from Britain. As Second World War started before the deliveries, only two of the submarines were delivered during war. The destroyers were handed over in 1946.

Since then the working relations between two navies was always professional and courteous by Royal Navy did never enjoyed the attention US navy enjoyed.

And since 1945, UK companies never won any significant contracts from Turkish Navy. The most important recent defence procurement from UK were Mk 24 Mod.2 Tigerfish torpedoes for Preveze class submarines and Sea Skua anti-ship missiles for AB-212 ASW helicopters. Both were completed in 1990’s.

The Tigerfish caused for a big excitement in Deniz Kurdu 2001 naval exercise, when a Mk24 Mod.2 fired from TCG 18 Mart submarine to a decommissioned ship veered from its course 3000 yards short of its target. The frigates carrying high ranking officials and visitors scrambled away from the path of the run away torpedo. And the Sea Skua missiles may have passed their shelf life already. So both projects were not an stellar example of sucess.

>More On 3. Naval Systems Seminar

>I have written my previous post after my visit at the Naval Systems seminar late at night. Now after reading by good friend Arda Mevlutoğlu’s blog post about 3. NSS I have remembered a few more things. You should read his excellent blog as he attended the second day of the seminar as well.

1. TF-2000 will be the main AAW warship of the Turkish Navy. UDI is spending a lot of time for developing a feasibility document. For the preparation of this document:
a. Existing AAW capable warships of various navies were visited
b. 46 answers to the RfI send from 35 companies were studies for sub systems
c. TÜBİTAK and 17 local companies were briefed on potential weapon and sensor systems of the ship and these were requested to prepare the necessary R&D projects
d. 90 offers for sub systems were analyzed

The plan is to construct 4 of these ships. Currently the project model has not been determined as the feasibility studies. It will be the coming of age project for Turkish ship building industry.

2. UDI is supporting Turkish companies to co operations with foreign firms in the following sub systems:
a. Main propulsion
b. Vertical launching systems
c. Radar technologies
d. Sonar technologies
e. HVAC systems
f. Future weapon systems (laser guns, kinetic weapons etc.)

3. Rolls Royce is interest in supplying the main propulsion systems for the TF-2000 warships.

4. Havalsan is developing a combat management system for submarines. Whether this system will be available in time for the Type 214 is not clear yet but the system will be ready for the successors of Type 214

5. Havelsan is working on integration Mk48 Mod6AT torpedoes in to the ISUS combat management system. For this the Turkish company is working together with Raytheon and Atlas Electronic.

6. Thales Naval Electronic Warfare (ex Marconi) offers their Sealion ESM system for the mid life modernisation project of Ay class (Type 209/1100) class submarines. Currently four of six submarines use the older generation DR 2000 ESM system from the same company.

>My Impressions From 3.Naval Systems Seminar


I have attended the first day of the naval systems seminar yesterday. The naval systems seminar has started as a one day event, three years ago. The aim was to bring the ship building industry, Turkish Navy and the procurement agency together to exchange ideas. This year’s event has spread on two days but my schedule prevented me to attend the second days presentations.

In the morning there were presentations of Mr. Murad Bayar, Under secretary for Defence Industries, and Mr. Serdar Demirel, the Head of Naval Platforms Department of UDI.

Mr Bayar’s presentation was important as it outlined the general situation of the naval projects of Turkey.

In 2005, when we had organised a meeting for the Turkish ship buıilding indusrty to present our vision and future procurement plans nobody tokk us seriosly. But today during the economical crisis al existing shipyards are comming to us to disscuss the futue projects.

This quotation of Mr Bayar, is a bold and honest statement. Most of the Turkish shipyards did not take UDI for serious, whey they were making easy money on commercial constructions. They did not want to take the extra burden of building to higher military standards, do the necessary documentation and follow the standards of project management, procurement etc. Now when there is very little commercial order on the books the military projects are getting very delicious. But for the most of the shipyards that train is long gone.

Mr. Demirel pointed out the current and future acquisition projects of Turkish Navy can only sustain 7 shipyards at the maximum. But even this number might be a little optimistic.

This means in the coming years there will be tougher bidding wars for the remaining projects among the shipyards.

He also mentioned that for the continuation of the current status quo in the industry the shipyards must protect their own suppliers as UDI protects the shipyards.

There were two more presentations in the morning session. One was made by RMK Marine shipyard of the Koç conglomerate: The other was done by the leading system entegrator Havalsan. Both companies wanted bigger pieces of the cake and asked for the next big naval projects like LPD and Milgem.

There were more presentations in the afternoon. But two stand out in my opinion. One was made by Navantia. The company presented their latest LPH Juan Carlos I which was commissioned in Spanish Navy recently. This presentation made me realize how complex a LPH/LPD is to design, build and operate. The ship must be a passenger ship (a Spartan one) for the military force she projects. The ship must be at the same time A RO/RO for the rolling stock of this military force. She must be a carrier for the air wing she carries. She must be a hospital ship for the wounded. She is a water factory and a bakery for the people in need at a time of a humanitarian disaster. And al these roles must be covered almost simultaneously.

The other presentation was from Dr. Ekber Onuk the vice president of the Yonca Onuk JV. He told us how the use of moderns construction aids such as CAD/CAM, the use of high tech materials and effective R&D helped the shipyard to become one of the leading companies in its sector. Theirs boats are sold to Georgia, Egpyt, UAE, Maleysia and Pakistan.

The most disappointing presentation of the day was made by BAE Systems Surface Ships. They presented theirs Type 45 destroyer and Type 26 frigate. But the presentation was so dull and the presenter was so unimpressive, I got the feeling that BAE Systems was not interesting in promoting their ships and was here only by gun point.

The news and gossip of the day can be summaries as:
1. The second SAR ship being constructed by RMK will be launched in November and the sea trails of the first ships will begin in December.
2. The first NTPB AB-1200 is scheduled for commissioning toward the end of the year.
3. There is a lot of progress made regarding the sea based guided weapon systems. The rumor is that the Norwegians are short of achieving a sales and export break through for their NSM.
4. The right conjuncture is being waited for the TF-200 air defence frigate and next generation of AOR’s. In other words the funding of these projects is not secure yet.
5. The sixth ship to receive the Genesis is F-495 TCG Gediz. She will also have the Mk-41 VLS systems integrated. But the 3D Smart radar will not be delivered on time so she will receive another overhaul for the radar. She is estimated to be ready at the end of the year but this estimation may be a little too optimistic.
6. Network centric warfare is a buzz word here too. New combat management systems will have integrated Link-11-16-22 capabilities.

And my impressions in general are:
1. There was more excitement in the air during the last year’s event. The companies were more eager to show off their projects and capabilities. This year that excitement was not evident.
2. The UDI is still going on the road map and industrial master plan it had created for the Turkish ship building. And the rest of the industry is at least for the time being willing to follow it.
3. The ongoing projects are well funded and there is no problem there. But how secure the funds of the impending or planed projects were never ever mentioned. Thus it remains as a big question mark.
4. While I was visiting the exhibition booths, I come up to MAM’s. There was on display the first sonar transducer ever built in Turkey. There was a very lovely and talkative guy, who explained me how they have worked on the first Turkish built national sonar transducer and how they have build the first national sonar as a system. He also told me how they constructed the national Underwater Research Center at MAM for R&D projects and calibration of the national sonar. The only catch was that this nice guy spoke only English and that with a heavy Slavic accent. He was everything but Turkish. Yet he was obviously happy and proud to be a part of this project. Applied physic, money and nationalism make strange bedfellows after all.

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>TCG Gemlik Will Visit DIMDEX

>TCG Gemlik, the current Turkish contribution to CTF-151, will make a short visit to Qatar between 29 and 31 March. The reason for this visit is not only R&R. During this time DIMDEX 2010, the only specialized maritime defence exhibition in the Middle East, will be held in Doha.

TCG Gemlik is an excellent choice. She is the first ship that received the GENESIS upgrade. And GENESIS has a good sale potential. Bahrain using 2 1 and Egypt using 4 Perry class frigates are potential customers for the GENESIS. I bet naval officers from these two countries will be visiting TCG Gemlik and observing the full capabilities of GENESIS.

But GENESIS is not the only export product Turkey will offer at DIMDEX. A large Turkish group including, ARES Shipyards, Dearsan, Düzgit, Elektroland, ETC-IS, Gate Elektronik, Genetlab, Havelsan, Istanbul Shipyard, Ka-Tron, Meteksan, Milsoft, STM, Uyar Sirketler Grubu, Yakupoglu and Yaltes led by the Under-Secretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), will be exposing their products and services in the first Turkish National Pavilion at the Doha Exhibition Centre.

Update: Corrected the number of Perry’s in Bahrain Navy. Thanks to an anonymous commenter.

>3rd Naval Systems Seminar

>3rd Naval Systems Seminar will be performed under the auspices of Undersecretariat For Defense Industries between 11th and 12th of October 2010 at ODTÜ – KKM (METU CCC)

Sessions will cover the Naval Platforms (Ship and Machinery) and the Naval Systems (Weapon and Electronics).

>2. Naval Systems Seminar (Updated)

>On 12th October 2009 the Second Naval Systems Seminar will convene in Ankara.

The first seminar organized in October 2008, was an important event, as it was first event of such kind about naval equipment and weapons systems.

This year’s seminar will be held on 12th October 2009, in Middle East Technical University, Culture & Convention Center. This years main sponor is Aselsan. Following companies are also sponsoring this year’s event: Ayesaş, Desan Tersanesi, Figes, Havelsan, Meteksan Savunma, Rohde & Schwarz, Saab Selex Transas-Ratelmak, Tübitak Mam, Tübitak Uekae, Türk Loydu and Yaltes. Furthermore the following companies will have a stand: Artı Denizcilik, Aeromarıtıme, Anova, Defence-Turkey, Katron, Lobel Teknoloji, Mikro Bilgi, Odtü-Biltir and Rheinmetall-Ad (Ocag).

Turkish naval shipbuilding is burgeoning. The purpose of this seminar is to create synergies and collaboration between industry, universities, research institutions SMEs and end user and acquisition authorities. This seminar is expected to add a momentum to the ongoing important ship building projects such as Milgem, New Type Patrol Boat etc.

>The Logbook of the Ottoman Navy-Ships, Legends and Sailors

UPDATE:If you have arrived at this blog via the link at gCaptain.com, kindly note that my post about this exihibition is from 2009. The exhibition is over a very long time ago.


Last weekend I have visited a new exhibition at the Pera Museum in Istanbul. Pera Museum is one of the private museums that has helped to enrich the cultural life in this town.
This exhibition called “The Logbook of Ottoman Navy: Ships, Legends, Sailors” is about the Ottoman Navy from 16th till 20th century. All of the objects in this exhibition are on loan from Istanbul Naval Museum as this is under a comprehensive renovation. The chosen objects and the paintings can give a visitor a good idea about the topic. This is the first (I am not counting the existing and permanent exhibitions at the Istanbul Naval Museum)of a private museum in Turkish about seafaring and naval warfare. It is a good sign. It means that naval warfare and sailors have been started to be found culturally interesting.

“The Logbook of the Ottoman Navy-Ships, Legends and Sailors” exhibition, curated by Ekrem Işık, chairman of the Istanbul Research Institute Ottoman Enquiries Department, will stay open until 4 October.

Photo: from Pera Museum website.

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